Friday, March 22, 2019

John Malveaux: BSO.org: Thomas Wilkins conducts Hailstork, Sierra, Price and Ellington

 
Adolphus Hailstork

John Malveaux of 
writes:

Boston Symphony

March 23, 2019 at 8 PM

Thomas Wilkins conducts Hailstork, Sierra, Price and Ellington with saxophonist James Carter

Boston Symphony Orchestra


Symphony Hall


Boston, MA

Thomas Wilkins, conductor
James Carter, saxophones

Adolphus HAILSTORK An American Port of Call
Roberto SIERRA Concerto for Saxophones
    and Orchestra
PRICE "Symphonic Reflections" from Symphony No. 3
ELLINGTON A Tone Parallel to Harlem (Harlem Suite)

John Malveaux: KBIA.org: Terence Blanchard Talks Upcoming Opera Premiere

Award-winning composer/trumpeter Terence Blanchard talked about his unlikely venture into jazz opera and his work on various Spike Lee films, including "BlacKkKlansman."
Credit Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

John Malveaux of 
writes:

Composer, flutist, educator Dawn Norfleet forwarded the following St. Louis on the Air discussion with composer, trumpeter  Terence Blanchard to MusicUNTOLD. See https://www.kbia.org/post/composer-trumpeter-terence-blanchard-talks-upcoming-opera-premiere-working-spike-lee?fbclid=IwAR0tS21TazMMOT15aVa3Z4si6K-fB8LWi22F5qChwfxZLqGlxU9tj6ZRnpY#stream/0

St. Louis Public Radio

Mar 18, 2019 

Composer, Trumpeter Terence Blanchard Talks Upcoming Opera Premiere, Working With Spike Lee

The name Terence Blanchard is well known in the worlds of jazz and opera. The Academy Award nominee and Grammy Award-winning composer/trumpeter scored a big hit a few years ago with “Champion”, a joint co-commission by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) and Jazz St. Louis about boxer Emile Griffith.

The new opera will premiere June 15. It is based on the memoir of celebrated writer and New York Times columnist Charles Blow. Blanchard said Blow’s compelling story includes the writer’s traumatic upbringing from being molested by family members.

“The book is a memoir about his struggles growing up, being a little different from everybody else in the family and people not really understanding where he's coming from and he didn't necessarily fit in … and his trials and tribulations of dealing with that,” he explained.

“Just in talking to him, how he still deals with those issues today as a grown person, [is] an amazing thing to see because he's become so successful and so brilliant at what it is that he does – you wouldn't think that he would still have these issues, but they still linger.”

Despite sometimes feeling like “a fish out of water” in the opera business, Blanchard said he’s had a great experience working with OSTL. Blanchard explained he was approached about writing a jazz opera for the main stage six years ago.

“I literally thought they were crazy. I'm like, ‘You want me to write an opera? Okay, where's this coming from?’ But it's been one of the greatest experiences of my life,” he said. “[Opera Theatre of St. Louis] has broken down the stigma of what opera is for me – it's storytelling, that’s really what it is.”

Working on ‘BlacKkKlansman’ and with Spike Lee
Blanchard also enjoys working with film director, producer, writer, and actor Spike Lee. They’ve worked on numerous projects together for nearly 30 years.

Blanchard's main theme for “BlacKkKlansman,” “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil),” also just won Best Instrumental Composition at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.   

BBC Music: This is...the recording of the First Symphony to own [Florence B. Price]

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

John Jeter sends this review:

BBC Music

April 2019

Rebecca Franks

Price

Symphony No. 1 in E minor; Symphony No. 4 in D minor
Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter



Naxos 8.559827 69:04 mins



Interest from major US ensembles in the orchestral works of Florence Price (1887-1953) is flourishing, a mark of recognition that she sought, unsuccessfully apart from on one occasion, during her lifetime.

Price was a brilliantly gifted musician whose E minor Symphony became the first orchestral work by an African-American woman to be performed by an international orchestra – the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under Frederick Stock; but despite Price’s appeal ‘to be judged on merit alone’, racism and sexism plagued her career. After her death, her art songs stayed in the repertoire and scholars studied her work, but it was only last year that a publisher, G Schirmer, acquired her catalogue.

Price wrote four mature symphonies, although one is thought to be lost; this disc from the Fort Smith Symphony and conductor John Jeter is the first part of the first ever complete recording of them. The E minor No. 1 starts on the same ground as Dvořák’s New World, but soon charts different terrain. It’s Price’s own blend of experience that speaks in the organ-like brass-band march and juba dance that replaces the usual scherzo movement – all played with rhythmic élan, beguiling colour and evident joy.

***

If not every corner is neat, this is still the recording of the First Symphony to own.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

BostonGlobe.com: Lifting the baton to bring composers of color into the canon

Thomas Wilkins
(John Blanding/Globe Staff)


MusicWeb-International.com: Naxos CD of Florence Price Symphonies is Recommended

Florence B. Price (1887-1953)

John Jeter forwards this review:


RECOMMENDED

Stephen Greenbank

Florence Beatrice PRICE (1887-1953)
Symphony No. 1 in E minor (1932) [37:22]
Symphony No. 4 in D minor (1945) [31:34]
Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter
rec. 2018, ArcBest Performing Arts Center, Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA


NAXOS 8.559827 [69:04]


Florence Beatrice Price holds the distinction of being the first African-American woman to be recognized as a symphonic composer. She was one of three children born into a mixed-race family in 1887 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her father was a dentist, and her mother a music teacher, who gave young Florence some initial tuition. At the age of fourteen she enrolled at the New England Conservatory in Boston to study piano teaching and organ. In addition, she had the opportunity to study composition and counterpoint with composers George Chadwick and Frederick Converse. She graduated in 1906 and returned to Arkansas to teach, then moved on to Georgia in 1910. Two years later she married Thomas J. Price, a lawyer, and moved back to Little Rock. A series of racial incidents there resulted in another move, this time to Chicago. It was here that her career as a composer really took off, in addition to her work as a teacher and concert pianist. Divorce and financial hardship, as well as having to bring up two daughters as a single mother, did eventually take its toll. She died of a stroke on June 3, 1953, at the age of only 66.

***

The recently discovered Fourth Symphony of 1945 here receives its first recording. Like the First Symphony it has immediate appeal, offering plenty to enjoy. Price makes reference to the Negro Spiritual ‘Wade in the Water’ in the substantial first movement, as long as the sum total of the other three movements. A tender Andante cantabile follows with, once more, the spirit of Dvořák hovering in the background. Again comes a Juba Dance, sprightly, engaging and full of elan. The fourth movement is marked Scherzo and packs a punch with its bold and valiant brass writing.

The Fort Smith Symphony deliver riveting performances of these two symphonic works, under the direction of their charismatic conductor John Jeter. This compelling music could have no better advocates. This constitutes a good starting point for those who haven't already encountered Price's music and are curious.

Chicago Sinfonietta: Preshow Event: Project W: Works by Diverse Women Composers


Eric Conway: Alexandria Bradshaw Crichlow sings at funeral of former Maryland Governor

Alexandria Bradshaw Crichlow




Dr. Eric Conway writes:

Hello all,

Today, many Marylanders are mourning the loss of former Governor Harry Hughes, serving 1979-1987. The Morgan State University choir, being a favorite of the governor, who sang for him several times over the years, including his 1983 inauguration, was asked to sing for his funeral service today at St. Anne's Parish across from the State House. Due to the university being on Spring break, I offered one my most talented choir soloists, Alexandria Bradshaw Crichlow to represent the choir. Based on the Baltimore Sun Article, Alex's presentation was perhaps the most poignant part of the ceremony. See link below to the Sun article chronicling the service along with some images from the program.

EC



************************************
Eric Conway, D.M.A.
Fine and Performing Arts Department, Chair
Morgan State University

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BlackNews.com: 11-Year Old Violinist Hopes to Make Black History

Leah Flynn


March 19, 2019

11-Year Old Violinist Hopes to Make Black History by Becoming the New Face of Classical Music

Orlando, FL — Leah Flynn is a violin soloist. Her father, Lennox Flynn, a self-taught musician, realized Leah’s gift, as he noticed her tinker on the family’s keyboard, playing actual melodies when she was 3-years old. Leah discovered her passion for playing the violin at the age of five. By age six, she brilliantly performed the Disney Frozen “Let It Go” sequence on violin, in its entirety. Video footage of that performance is now viral on YouTube with 2.2 million views. At age seven, she began playing violin by ear and joined the Orlando Youth Orchestra soon after. By age nine, she was the concertmaster, lead musician for a large repertory, comprised of mostly teen musicians. Leah is what many call a music prodigy. 

Now, at age eleven, Leah practices daily for 2-3 hours, is already proficient in reading music and is actively studying classical music through a private tutor.


Understanding Leah has an exceptional gift has made this expense a necessary investment. She has a keen ear, a sharp memory, and her aptitude for violin performance is undeniable. Leah is currently a soloist, performing in a variety of musical styles by special request, paid bookings for weddings, galas, megachurches, and political events. She has already built an impressive résumé that includes solo performances for Bishop T.D. Jakes, the office of the City of Orlando’s Mayor Demings, four appearances as part of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, an appearance at The White House, as well as an honor from the NAACP.

Of mainstream classical music orchestras, there is a percentage of only 1.8% African-American musicians on the roster. This factor is what makes Leah’s achievements, so far, such a phenomenon. She is entering and performing in these spaces with no performance anxiety. These are audiences that are not expecting a child of her age to play the instrument with such expertise, and they are not at all expecting a child who looks like her. Leah is gifted, authentic, and unquestionably black, serving as a bold statement of our excellence in music wherever she performs.

In recent years, due to budget restrictions, Music Theory has been removed from schools across the country. Most children in underserved communities with a natural interest in music do not have access to basic instruction or a nearby program where they can study a musical instrument. Several foundations are now stepping forth with generous donations to return music instruction to select schools. There is a void of organizations that support young individual performing artists.

Jackson Citizen Patriot: Jackson Symphony Commissions Violin Concerto of Marcus Norris

Marcus Norris

Norris commissioned artist Jaleel Campbell to paint the GLORY cover artwork.

Marcus Norris sends this article from the Jackson Citizen Patriot [Jackson, Michigan]:

Brianne Twiddy

Published on mlive.com


Marcus Norris paces the floor. He knows he probably looks crazy, but it’s part of the creative process.

Norris, a 2009 Jackson High School graduate, is a music composer and producer. His creative process is mostly in his head, imagining the sounds and how it makes him feel.

Norris was commissioned by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra to compose his first violin concerto, which is a piece performed by a soloist accompanied by an orchestra.

The piece, titled “GLORY,” is being performed as part of the symphony’s Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto March 22-24 at Weatherwax Hall, 215 W. Michigan Ave.

“I like to capture the feelings and experiences instead of telling a literal story,” he said. “‘GLORY’ follows the protagonist, which is the violin. You can feel the heartbreaks, triumphs and anger musically.”

There isn’t an exact plot to the piece, but the audience will experience feelings they can assign to their own life experiences, Norris said.


All of his pieces are inspired by conversations, he said. “GLORY” came from a discussion with a friend about disadvantaged upbringings, and how hard a person has to work to make up for starting with nothing.

***

Learn more about Marcus and his music at his website, www.MarcusNorris.com

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Hoodline.com: Thomas Wilkins conducts Hailstork, Sierra, Price and Ellington

James Carter


Also on Saturday, Thomas Wilkins, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Germeshausen youth and family concerts conductor, makes his subscription series debut. The concert highlights the music of three African-American composers — Adolphus Hailstork, Florence Price and Duke Ellington — and a concerto Puerto Rico-born Robert Sierra wrote for the night's guest, jazz saxophonist James Carter.



When: Saturday, March 23, 8 p.m.
Where: Boston Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Ave.
Price: $38-$123

Chicago Sinfonietta: "In Darkness We Rise" March 25, Mandel Hall, University of Chicago


John Malveaux: TheRoot.com: The Soundtrack for "Us" Is Out [Michael Abels' score]

Michael Abels

John Malveaux of 
writes:

Composer Michael Abels sound track to Oscar-winning screenwriter Jordan Peele new film US now available  

Monday, March 18, 2019

Passing of Former NOBLE Executive Board Member - Police Chief David Wynn


Former NOBLE Executive Board Member, David Wynn, law enforcement career spanned over 30 years and included posts with the Starkville Police Department, the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol, the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Training Academy, the Hattiesburg Police Department, and Transportation Security Administration. He was well-known and well-respected in the law enforcement community.

Some of Wynn's accomplishments during his distinguished career included: the first African-American Police Chief of Hattiesburg, MS; overseeing the first accreditation of a Mississippi police department by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies; managing the counter-drug training of law enforcement officers from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee; commanding officers with responsibility for all federal and state highways in southern Mississippi; instructing officers on criminal justice at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Botswana, Africa; and Federal Security Director, Transportation Security Administration, for Jackson-Evers (Miss.) International Airport.

These are the arrangements for Police Chief David Wynn: 

Viewing - Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Sweet Pilgrim Baptist Church, 510 Dumas Ave., Hattiesburg, MS 601-583-2405.

Funeral Services - Friday, March 22, 2019, 11:00 am, Shady Grove Baptist Church, 101 Warren Mott Parkway, Hattiesburg, MS, 601-583-9243. 

The Internment - Friday, March 22, 2019, Highland Cemetery, 3401 West 7th Street, Hattiesburg, MS 39401.

Services entrusted to Forrest Funeral Home, 1258 Richburg Road, Hattiesburg, MS 601-264-1816.

John Malveaux: IndieWire.com: Chinonye Chukwu Is Sundance's Biggest Winner

Chinonye Chukwu
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

John Malveaux of 
writes:




It was a banner year for female filmmakers at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, as each of the four Grand Jury Prizes given to competition films — the festival’s highest honors, as voted on by individual juries — was directed or co-directed by a female filmmaker. But “Clemency” filmmaker Chinonye Chukwu broke down a new barrier: she’s the first black woman to win the the festival’s biggest prize, the Grand Jury Prize for her U.S. Dramatic entry. Chukwu both wrote and directed the death row drama, which stars Alfre Woodard as a prison warden struggling with the emotional demands of her job.

In IndieWire’s review, Eric Kohn wrote of the film, “Alfre Woodard embodies the extraordinary challenges of a woman tasked with sending men to their death, while bottling up her emotions so tight she looks as if she might blow. Writer-director Chinonye Chukwu’s second feature maintains the quiet, steady rhythms of a woman so consumed by her routine that by the end of the opening credits, it appears to have consumed her humanity as well.”  

Rebeca Omordia Tweets: Thank you @MUSONng, thank you #Lagos!

Rebeca Omordia


Thank you , thank you !

[MUSON is the Musical Society of Nigeria.  It has a performance hall in Lagos.] 

AaronAsk: Weekly mentoring for a creative life: Smartest in the Room!


Aaron P. Dworkin writes:

Greetings and welcome to this week's episode of AaronAsk, your weekly mentoring session to live a fulfilling creative life!  This week's episode is titled, Smartest in the Room!  Enjoy, we wish you a creative day and see you for next week's session!

Comment by email:
Thanks so much Bill!!  Aaron  [Aaron P. Dworkin]

Sunday, March 17, 2019

TheaterJones.com: John Holiday | The Dallas Opera and Nasher Sculpture Center

John Holiday

Holiday Time

Countertenor John Holiday gave a beautiful recital in the Dallas Opera and Nasher Sculpture Center's Sculpting Sounds series.


published Saturday, March 16, 2019


Dallas — The interdisciplinary approach toward art has always yielded great innovations in artistic imagination and understanding. The delicate weaving together of genres and styles breathes new life into the old, ushering in exciting new interpretations of performance practice and creative standards.

In a new partnership between The Dallas Opera and the Nasher Sculpture Center called Sculpting Sounds, these principles operate in great effect as the performing and visual arts come together; the program on March 10 featured a vocal recital inspired by the museum’s special exhibitions, followed by a gallery tour.

Moreover, the featured soloist, Texas-native and acclaimed countertenor John Holiday, demonstrated an adeptness across multiple vocal disciplines that, when married together so seamlessly, worked to convey lovely artistry and a moving narrative.

The first half of Holiday’s program consisted of beautiful French and German art song, centered on a unifying theme of love, longing, and romance. On pieces like “Si Mes Vers Avaient Des Alles (If My Verses Had Wings)” and “À Chloris (For Chloris),” both by composer Reynaldo Hahn, his diction was delicate and sensitive, with lush, long lines that were warm throughout. Holiday’s countertenor is sweet and expressive, with a natural affinity for the French style. The German was treated with equal care and expression, but with what felt like an extra layer of verve. Beethoven’s idyllic “Der Kuss (The Kiss)” whistled with charm as the fullness of Holiday’s brightness gave movement and drive to each animated crescendo. Holiday also displayed his virtuosic prowess on “Adelaide,” also by Beethoven. The piece was active and athletic in its diverse colors and tempi, and Holiday’s countertenor offered a unique interpretation that was at once warm and light.


The second half of his program was characterized by selections from H. Leslie Adams’ song cycle Nightsongs, which features the musical setting of poetry from African-American poets. Here, Holiday’s technique was dripping with ethos. The movements moved through wrenching lamentations to moments of reverent introspection. Adam’s compositions draw on familiar tonalities that harken to old Negro spirituals, which lead effectively into his final set of jazz inspired selections.

WBUR.org: Le Chevalier De Saint-Georges: Fencer, Composer, Revolutionary

Fencing match between St.-Georges and cross-dressing French diplomat and spy La Chevalière d'Éon on April 9, 1787, by Abbé Alexandre-Auguste Robineau. (Public Domain)


March 15, 2019 


Joseph Bologne was born in 1745 in the French West Indies on a plantation on the island of Guadeloupe.

"Black slaves in Saint-Domingue in Haiti and, presumably, also in Guadeloupe were forced to wear masks when they were picking sugar cane in the fields," journalist Andrea Valentino says.

"Because if they didn’t wear the masks, they were so hungry that they would try and eat the sugar cane. I mean, it was just unbelievable."

That might have been Joseph’s lot. But thanks in part to his mastery of a sport, it wasn’t.

Life Under The 'Code Noir'
"His father was a rich plantation owner, and his mother was Nanon, a black slave," Valentino says.

Nanon was said to be the most beautiful woman in the French West Indies.

"He owes a lot to Mama," researcher and historian Mario Valdes says. "Both her color and his damn good looks."

Joseph’s father was a minor nobleman named George Bologne de Saint-Georges. Most plantation owners would have disavowed their mistresses and illegitimate children. But Bologne did not.

France’s Code Noir, or "Black Code," imposed harsh restrictions on freedom of religion, marriage and commerce for black slaves and nonslaves living in the colonies. So when Joseph was 7 years old, his father took Nanon and their son to France.

"He enjoyed many of the privileges that a white, upper-class French person would have enjoyed in the 18th century," Valentino says. "He had a good education. He was well-off. They lived in St. Germain, which was — and still is — a nice part of Paris."

"I’m sure people would have gawked at him, because he was so good-looking," Valdes says. "He was well-dressed and very gentlemanly, and I’m sure everyone was quite delighted with him."

"But, at the same time, there’s this undercurrent of racism everywhere he went," Valentino says.

When Joseph and his family arrived in France, they found that the Code Noir wasn’t limited to the French colonies.

"That required every black person in Paris to register with the police," Valentino says.

Joseph and Nanon did that. George Bologne’s money and title helped shield them from some of the other effects of the Code Noir. But it wasn’t until Joseph took up a sport that things began looking up.

Swordsman and Athlete
At school, Joseph Bologne studied math and history in the morning.  "And in the afternoons, he fenced," Valentino says. 

At the age of 13, Joseph enrolled in the Royal Polytechnic Academy of Weapons and Riding. His teacher was Nicolas Texier de la Boëssière, a master swordsman and a huge figure in the development of modern fencing.

"Fencing was really a way in which people could make their way in society," Valentino says.

"The sword was everything," Valdes says. "If you were not a good swordsman, you need not come to dinner."

In just a year or two, Joseph Bologne became an expert fencer. He began to compete against the best swordsmen of Europe.

One of his most celebrated contests was against fencing master Alexandre Picard, who had publicly called Joseph "La Boëssière’s mulatto." That was a heavily loaded term, even in the 18th century. With pro-slavery and abolitionist spectators looking on and wagering, Joseph won the match.

"And his father was so pleased with him for having won this fencing match that he gifted him with a horse and a carriage that he used to drive around Paris — like the crème de la crème of Parisian society," Valentino says.

But Joseph excelled at more than fencing.
"Boxing. There’s an image of him boxing," Valdes says. "He was a good runner. He was a good ice skater."

"He famously could swim across the Seine with one arm tied behind his back," Valentino says. "Shooting — one account says that he was the best marksman in Europe."

The United States’ ambassador to France — and future US president — John Adams wrote in his diary:
He will hit the Button, any Button on the Coat or Waistcoat of the greatest Masters. He will hit a Crown Piece in the Air with a Pistoll [sic] Ball.
Joseph's dancing ability, along with his good looks and charm, made him a hit in the sophisticated salons of Paris.

"And, I suppose, because he was unusual as a black person in Paris, people were curious about him," Valentino says. "And women, in particular, were keen to dance with him."

Joseph Bologne danced and fenced his way into the hearts of French nobility. He graduated from the Royal Academy in 1766 and was made an officer in the court of King Louis XV. He was henceforth known as "Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges."

Darling of French Society 
That title brought new connections and patronage, which the Chevalier used to pursue a career in music. In 1769, he began playing violin in the Concert des Amateurs. Despite what its name might suggest, the group was made up of the finest musicians from the region.

"His playing must have been very, very good," says Jeanne Lamon, a concert violinist and the Director Emerita of Tafelmusik, a Baroque orchestra based in Toronto.

"There’s something about bow technique and fencing that have something in common that he obviously had an amazing skill for," Lamon says.

By 1773, the Chevalier was Director of the Concert des Amateurs. Parisians flocked to concert halls to hear the virtuoso soloist and the music he composed.
"Those are pieces that feature the violin, and the parts he wrote for the violin are very difficult," Lamon says.

"Sometimes you find with composers who are also performers or players that they write virtuosic things to show off and that, when they try to write slow movements of music, there seems to be no depth," Lamon says. "What I love about Saint-Georges’ music is that, as difficult and virtuosic as his fast pieces are, the slow ones are very, very tender and intimate. There’s a very touching sadness to the slow parts that I find show that there was some depth to this guy.

John Malveaux: "The Legacy of Dr. William Grant Still" March 16-June 1, 2019




John Malveaux of 
writes:

March 16, 2019 attended William Grant Still Art Center opening reception for 11th annual African American Composers Series "Music is Art, Music is Philosophy, Music is History, The Legacy of Dr. William Grant Still". See pic 1 chalk board outside WGS Art Center. Conspicuously absent from reception was artist Noni Olabisi who created a mural on the outside south wall of the William Grant Still Art Center that depicts WGS opera TROUBLED ISLAND. See pic 2. Although WGS orchestral music may be performed more frequently by major symphony orchestras in the United States than any other composer of African descent, his opera output continues to be completely neglected in current years by major opera companies. See Troubled Island mural at WGS Art Center outside south wall.

I was shocked to learn from a lady attendee that she found and  showed me THE LITTLE SONG THAT WANTED TO BE A SYMPHONY illustrated book and recording in a free bin at a Los Angeles City Library. William Grant Still was a devoted father who even made toys for his children. In his later years, he especially wrote instructional and other music targeting children with the hope that he might foster intercultural and racial understanding. Unfortunately, along with his operas,THE LITTLE SONG THAT WANTED TO BE A SYMPHONY has been neglected by orchestras such as Long Beach Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic Toyota Children concerts. Equally painful, African American founded orchestras such as Southeast Symphony and Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles have not programmed THE LITTLE SONG THAT WANTED TO BE A SYMPHONY.. Please see pic 3-cover of THE LITTLE SONG THAT WANTED TO BE A SYMPHONY.-"A children's story for orchestra, women's trio, and a narrator. The Piece was written in order to impress upon children the need for human understanding".  

Saturday, March 16, 2019

JacarandaMusic.org: Music of African American Composers March 23, 8 PM, Santa Monica

Althea Waites


Saturday, March 23, 2019 8:00
FLYING DREAM
Florence Price - Piano Sonata (1932)
William Grant Still - Ennanga (1958)
George Walker -  Lyric for string quartet (1946)
Duke Ellington - "Single Petal of a Rose" from The Queen’s Suite (1958)
”In a Sentimental Mood” (1935, arr. Art Tatum)
New World A-Comin' (1945; arr. Scott Dunn world premiere)

Sanctuary Series - 7:00

Lyris Quartet; Althea Waites & Cecil Lytle, piano; Allison Bjorkedal, harp; Jacaranda Chamber Ensemble; Mr. Dunn, conductor

Lyris Quartet will play the original version of Lyric, the late 96-year old George Walker’s most often performed work. This haunting music by the first Black composer to receive a Pulitzer Prize will be surrounded by composers who joined his quest for recognition and success. Florence Price (1887-1953) has received extensive favorable ink in The New Yorker and the New York Times. Pianist Althea Waites prepared a performing edition to record the Price Piano Sonata in 1993. She will join the Lyris Quartet and a harpist in William Grant Still’s Ennanga. On her championship of Still’s music, Ann Arbor News hailed her as “a pianist who is blessed with a profound musicality." Waites will perform Ellington’s exquisite tone poem “Single Petal of a Rose’ inspired by his meeting Queen Elizabeth in 1958. A new version of Ellington’s one-movement piano concerto New World A-Comin’ will close the program, conducted and arranged by Scott Dunn.

[Jacaranda Music concerts are at First Presbyterian Church/Santa Monica, 1220 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA]